Tropical Depression Perla slows down

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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Perla slowed down and maintained its strength on Wednesday evening, October 16.

In a bulletin issued 11 pm on Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Perla is already 985 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, slowly moving west.

The tropical depression continues to have maximum winds of 45 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 55 km/h.

PAGASA said Perla is less likely to intensify into a tropical storm, and may even return to being a low pressure area while still inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

There are also no areas under tropical cyclone wind signals, so far. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

But Perla may bring scattered rain to the following areas beginning Friday evening, October 18, or Saturday morning, October 19:

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Perla as of October 16, 2019, 11 pm. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Perla as of October 16, 2019, 11 pm.

Image from PAGASA

Perla is the Philippines' 16th tropical cyclone for 2019, and the 1st for October. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually, but since 2019 is an El Niño year, only 14 to 18 tropical cyclones are expected.

Below is the estimated number of tropical cyclones from October to December:

Meanwhile, the northeasterly surface windflow is expected to trigger scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms in the following areas until Thursday, October 17:

Also due to the northeasterly surface windflow, travel is risky in the northern and western seaboards of Northern Luzon, especially for small vessels.

The intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) will also continue to affect Mindanao and Eastern Visayas on Thursday. Scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms will persist.

PAGASA defines the ITCZ as a "series of low pressure areas brought about by converging northeast and southeast winds that cause thunderstorms and rainshowers."

The rest of the country will still enjoy fair weather, with just isolated rainshowers or localized thunderstorms, mostly in the afternoon or evening.

PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 14. – Rappler.com